I hope you are full, happy, and thankful today. I know how thrilled I am to be spending the day with family and friends! Of course, it’s impossible to see everybody all in one day, but I love this entire month (from Thanksgiving through Christmas) because we get to see so many friends and relatives.
Before I get carried away by the holiday spirit and start throwing Christmas cookies in your face, we need to find fun ways to use up your Thanksgiving leftovers! I’m not including any ideas for dessert, because if you’re not eating pie for breakfast for the next week, you’re really missing out.
Of course, the requisite Turkey Pot Pie is a delicious vehicle for using up leftover turkey. Two great things about this option – you can throw in leftover veggies too AND it freezes really well. So make the pie, throw it in the freezer, and take it out in a week or two when you’re not sick of turkey anymore and need a warm, hearty dinner after a crazy day of Christmas shopping. (Or just a crazy afternoon of fighting Christmas traffic!)
Another great use of your leftover turkey AND stuffing? Turkey soup over stuffing. I know, it sounds weird, but Andrew thinks it’s the best thing ever and even I have to admit it is delicious. Just sub turkey for the chicken in the recipe I linked.
Turn your leftover mashies into Cheddar Bacon Mashed Potatoes – a decadent treat that will make everyone happy!
Extra pumpkin puree will still make you think of fall, but provides a curried kick in this fantastic Pumpkin Soup.
Transform a cheesy Broccoli or Cauliflower Gratin into a fabulous omelet for Black Friday breakfast.
Leftover rice pilaf will make a beautiful vegetarian main course when you use it to make Wild Rice Stuffed Onions.
Whip up a batch of creamy Corn Chowder with Kielbasa for a hearty soup that will satisfy everyone.
Extra roasted butternut squash (or other root vegetables) get an Italian makeover when you turn them into Butternut Squash Risotto.
Hopefully this gives you some new ideas for using up various leftovers. Personally, I hate waste, so I actually enjoy re-purposing leftover food into fun new meals. When I’m truly sick of something, I take a cue from my Nonnie and throw it in the freezer for a week or two – then thaw and use it up once I’m ready to eat it again!
I’d love to hear about your favorite “leftover dishes” – please share with me in the comments!